Seva Mandir as an organization is fully committed to the educational development of impoverished children in southern Rajasthan. Seva Mandir has successfully educated more than 30,000 children up to this day. Each of the children that come to Seva Mandir has experienced significant difficulties due to economic hardships and other family responsibilities. One of such children, Rajesh, has overcome significant odds to finally earn the gift of education.
Rajesh (name changed) is a ten year old boy living in a village called Bedadhar in Maamer zone of Kotra block. Rajesh and his parents originally lived in Merpur village in Bikarni. However, when he was nine years old, Rajesh’s mother moved out of the family leaving him to his father, Alka’s care. Alka used to do subsistence farming in his own land in Merpur, but after his wife left, he started occasionally migrating to Udaipur and Ahmedabad is search of temporary, petty jobs. Since he was hardly ever at home, he left Rajesh under the care of his maternal aunt who lives in Bedadhar. Rajesh did not go to school while he was living with his parents in Merpur.
While his mother and father worked in the field, Rajesh would be sent away to rear goats. Even after coming to his aunt’s house, Rajesh continued to engage in household work. However, after attending the school enrolment campaign that was conducted by the Teachers of the Seva Mandir’s NFE centres in the villages of Maamer in June 2015, his aunt decided to enroll him in the NFE centre in Bedadhar.
The Teachers Suresh and Sohan claim that in just 4 months, Rajesh has picked up concepts in Mathematics and Hindi. He can now count till 100 and can read and write Hindi words and identify objects in Hindi. While most children take time to understand enough concepts that can help them to move from being a C level student to a B level student, Suresh and Sohan feel that it is a matter of time before Rajesh becomes a B level student. The fact that he wants to be a teacher when he grows up is a testimony of the love and respect the NFE Teachers command from their students. Rajesh’s perseverance and focus is extraordinary for a boy coming from such disadvantaged circumstances.
This success has not been possible had your support not been there. Thank you so much for your help and support to our education program for children. You can help these children and Seva Mandir even more by donating on upcoming BONUS DAY –on 15th June beginning at 9:00:01 am EDT (Washington, DC time) on Global Giving. Donations made on Bonus day will be matched by 50% by Global Giving, hence enabling us reach out to many needy children like Rajesh.
Please consider telling your friends and family about our project and special Bonus Day.
Kindly also see a short film on our education program https://youtu.be/7YLpjmN5JPk
Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team
Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir
We thank you for your support to our project!
We want to share with you thoughts pen down by Elisabetta from Italy who has recently volunteered with us. Every year, Seva Mandir hosts around 150 volunteers from all over the world. Below, you find a glimpse of her experience at Seva Mandir.
Having completed my BA in Social Anthropology at the University of Bologna, where I had been focusing on the Indian subcontinent, I really wanted to fulfill my dream to come to India. I wanted to see with my eyes the magic hidden in this ancient country, touching with my hands both the beauty and the problems. I also desired to be useful for people around me, trying my hands at doing something practical, and especially, due to my interest in pursuing a master in international development, I wanted to learn how NGOs work and carry our their projects in rural areas. Seva Mandir, that means “the temple of service”, met all my deepest expectations. I wish to share with you one of the most special experience that I've done, that brought me close to those who most suffer the absence of basic needs in the society: the children.
During my staying at Seva Mandir as a volunteer I had the chance to visit a bridge school located in a rural area around 20 km from Udaipur(Rajasthan). Seva Mandir has been running these schools for many years, showing promising results in promoting primary education amongst out-of-school children of tribal and rural communities. These schools serve as bridge schools to provide the children with a basic grounding in main subjects, such as Hindi, math and elementary English and help them to transit into government school as soon as they reach an adequate level of knowledge.
In these areas, the dusty and hilly terrain dominates the surroundings, making it hard for the population to carry on, and especially for children to go to school. The poverty, lack of transportation, lack of near schools and the family needs that force children to help with chores and agricultural work, are all serious factors preventing children from attending school. Despite the environment challenges and social constraints, the beauty of the surrounding landscape strucks me and makes my trip to these hard-to-reach areas worth every moment of it.
At the first helmet, I visited, the jeep stopped in front of the school. While I was approaching the building, I could hear the children' s voices filling the dusty air, and as I stepped in, I was warmly welcomed by an enthusiastic but still composed “Namaste” of a bunch of around 20 children. At the beginning, I was feeling bad for having interrupted their daily activities and lessons.A smiling young boy standing proudly in front of me recited a poem about “patang”, the kite, one of the most popular games played by children in Rajasthan. During my visit, the teacher pointed at a small boy and told me about his life. He's Anand, and together with his small brother walks to school every day from his house, quite far from the school. I was told that he is from a very poor family but his father is very keen on getting them a good education. After having taken part in some activities with the children, we set off, leaving that small place full of hope, desires and smiles.
This visit made me realize how Seva Mandir's action is essential for those children, since it might be the only opportunity for them to study. Despite the difficult social and financial background, those children really try their best to learn and not to waste any single moment. These areas are really far to reach and without these schools is literally impossible for those children to get access to education; instead, they might be forced into domestic chores or, even worse, end up in child labour. Honestly, this experience was even more rewarding than I could have ever hoped. I really wish that everyone could have the chance to see with his own eyes the deep-rooted change that Seva Mandir is making in these remote areas, how many efforts had been put into the project, and therefore sustain these amazing schools.
I really thank Seva Mandir for having given me the opportunity to discover this extraordinary country, that I've been wanting to visit for a long time, through the eyes of those who spend their lives to help other people.
I am sure you enjoyed reading Elisabetta’s experience. If your travel brings you to this side of the world, do consider visiting us. Please do reach us at email@example.com
Please, follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevamandir
With best regards,Atul Lekhra
Greetings from cold yet sunny Udaipur!
Thank you for continue to support Seva Mandir. Your support has been a huge motivation to keep us going. Today, I would like you to meet this small girl “Hikree” who is 10 years of age and has been studying for 2 years at the school run by Seva Mandir. Hikree’s brother Bansi is eleven and also attends the school with her.
Unfortunately, the brother –sister duo has no support from their parents like us. Their mother has left the family and their father is mentally ill, so both of the children live with their grandfather- Hutaji. The family’s ends are met from whatever little their old grandfather is able to grow in his small farm. They grow wheat and maize and are very dependent on rain for their crop. If they do not have enough rain, Hutaji uses all his available resources to ensure that his grandchildren have enough food.
Hutaji strongly believes that education is very important for his grand children, he is the most regular attendee of the parent-teacher meetings that take place every 3 months in the school.
Hikree and her brother walk 3 kilometres to school every day. Hikree has progressed very quickly. Her favourite subject is maths and she also likes to read stories. She enjoys singing and her favourite sport is football. She aspires to become a teacher in future. Her teacher Kesu who also graduated from this school, 11 years ago and says “Hikree is a very intelligent girl and will do very well in the future if she continues her education.”
We wish that Hirkee continues her education and set an example in her community. We at Seva Mandir are able to share such deep experiences because of heart-warming support to our initiative of bringing the joy of education to deprived children in the remotest hamlets of southern Rajasthan. However, there are many children who still are untouched by the joy of education and therefore we need your support to make their dreams come true.
Every year, around 6000 out of school children receives education through the schools run by Seva Mandir.
Since the year end challenge is ongoing on Global Giving, we request you to help us qualify the challenge by extending your support. It just takes $40 to provide education for a year to a child who has never been to school in his life.
We look forward to hearing from you, should you have any queries about us, please feel free to write to me at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you a Merry Christmas!
With Warm Regards
Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team
Visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/sevamandir
On this Diwali, I would like you to meet Seema who is 9 years of age and would have never been able to go to school had it not been for Seva Mandir’s support. Belonging to a poor family, she has no choice but to spend her days grazing cattle in the field rather than being in school . Her father had always been against the idea of girls’ education. However, Seva Mandir took it upon itself to convince her father. Seema is now in government school after having completed 5th standard from one of Seva Mandir’s Shiksha Kendra.
“My father understood the importance of my education and now he also supports me in attending school and studying. I am ready to go through the struggle to become a teacher because I want to encourage other girls like me to study as well”. Seema says
3000 more like Seema are being helped to pursue their dreams and receive a high quality education. Thank you for helping shape the future of these girls.
On Behalf of SM , I would like to thank you for being a part of Seema’s transformation and for your trust in Seva Mandir.
Do write to me for any queries, questions or just to know more about Seva Mandir at email@example.com
“I remember working on the fields with my father; the school was so far that I could hardly ever attend it. But now I go to the school every day. I enjoy reading my books especially the stories.” This is Madhav’s experience who is a student of our Non Formal Education Center.
Like Madhav you have touched upon the lives of hundreds of children who have been deprived of education. You bring the light of education to the lives of children in hamlets of southern Rajasthan. And your support is much needed in their lives. From your donations we have been able to provide books, stationary and other infrastructure to support education. But a lot more is needed.
Wondering how you can help us?
Global Giving is having its little by little match making challenge from the dawn of 26th October 2015. Every contribution made by you exceeding £50 will be partly matched by Global Giving Family and together the amount will go to ease the access of education to children.
We look forward to your benevolent gesture in making a dream come true. For any query, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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